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Montessori Music… Of Course!

Montessori Music

Montessori Music

There isn’t a civilization in the world that doesn’t have its own musical tradition.  Why?

According to Oliver Sacks, physician, neurology professor at NYU and author of Musicophilia:

Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does–humans are a musical species.

From birth, our brains our wired to make and appreciate music.  It is natural that Evergreen and our music teacher, Ms. Caitlin Garry take music seriously.  In addition to being a wonderful teacher, Ms. Garry is a performer—and she has music in her genes.  In fact, her grandfather was a self-taught fife player in the US Marine’s Fife and Drum Corps during World War II.

orffOutside of Evergreen, Ms. Garry performs with the 200-member National Philharmonic Chorale.  This season, they will be performing Bach’s Cantata No. 140, Wachet Auf (“Sleepers Awake”), The Melodies of Brahms, and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Ms. Garry is busy.  She recently spent a weekend at the National Association for Music Education Conference.  She also teaches private afternoon piano lessons and serves as Evergreen’s librarian.

Ms. Garry takes a comprehensive view of music education at Evergreen.  She says that every class she teaches has a singing component, and instrumentation component, music theory and movement.  According to her, “all the Evergreen children can understand concepts like pitch, scale, rhythm and melody.” She believes that learning is a process, and says, “it’s important that I introduce my students to all aspects of music.”

Oliver Sacks Montessori MusicThe result? Ms. Garry’s students are ready to pick up any instrument and begin formal lessons.  According to Evergreen mother, Rachel Dickon, Ms. Garry “motivated and prepared my 5 year old extremely well for private music lessons and earned the kudos of the instructor.”  Her daughter’s piano teacher notes her enthusiasm and said she was already “ready to read music [and] able to count rhythms.”

bill-clinton-saxophoneIn addition to the neurologist Howard Sacks, many musicians and philosophers have weighed in on value of music education.  This list includes the well-known saxophone player, Bill Clinton (who also happened to be President) who said, “Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in schools, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.”

Sounds just like Evergreen School, doesn’t it?

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